Tag Archives: ARF

Rediscovering that Ancient Territory: Your Own Mind

Volume 2, Issue 33

All of us are naturally curious about our own selves. When someone who knew us when, someone older than ourselves, tells us a story about something we did when we were too young to remember it, we are raptly attentive.

If it were not for the culturally ubiquitous time pressure, we would have the same curiosity if offered a searchlight method to see more deeply into our own mind than ever before. This blog post offers just such a searchlight, followed by my own “field report” on using the method, and what I found.

Find 5 minutes when you can’t be interrupted and there is nothing dragging you away like a deadline. This means you probably won’t find time to try this until the weekend, so leave yourself a note somewhere you’ll see it Saturday or Sunday morning.

Sit with your eyes closed and back straight, with your head drawn up toward the ceiling. First, still the mind by experiencing your breath going in and out, without trying to control the breath in any way. After a half-dozen breath cycles or whenever you feel as if your mind is relatively still, begin the exercise.

The exercise is simply to watch for what happens at the very beginning of a thought or feeling. This is not as easy as it sounds because we tend to get so instantly caught up in the thought or feeling we forget that we are doing this exercise. That is, until through exercises very much like this, we find that we have gained true control of our minds. This tends to be a gradual process — we get better and better at it over time.

One trick is to pretend that you are a soldier and you are watching for the enemy that you know is going to come over the rise ahead. A thought or a feeling is going to arise. You are in a state of concentrated sharp attention and the game is to see that arising as quickly as possible, identify what it is, and be able to remember the experience of it as accurately as possible.

Before you sit down to do this experiment, consciously strip away everything you have ever thought about the nature of the mind, all preconceptions, theories, maps, structures, models, concepts, hidden and overt assumptions. This allows you to see what is really there without biasing it by slapping a label on it or gestalting it into a preconceived category.

In the addendum below — for our more scientifically minded readers who may be interested in the nascent science of consciousness that has been very slowly emerging over thousands of years — is my field report on my own experience as a result of doing this exercise. You might want to defer reading it until after you have done the exercise yourself, so that I do not bias your own findings.

Best to all for an enjoyable holiday season,

Bill

PS — Hope to see some of you Friday, November 30, 2012 at the ARF Industry Leader Forum, where I will be speaking on a panel at 1PM, “New Methods to Drive Insights into the Future”.
 

Field Report: Investigating Bill’s Brain from the Inside

In order to get into the two higher, most effective states of consciousness — the Observer state, where we can really see what is going on inside ourselves rather than being puppeteered by software in our heads, and the Flow state (Zone), where we are spontaneously doing everything just right — we need to become experts in the empirical study of our own minds and inner life. This week’s blog post is about classifying and understanding the basic building blocks of all inner experience — thoughts, feelings, intuitions, and perceptions. We see these not as four different things but rather a smaller number of things that metamorphose so as to seem to be four different things.

Why bother? The reason we are writing this is to ask you to consider — or to reconsider — all of the experiences you have had of your own mind, your own inner life. In effect, this posting is a brief exploration into the architecture of inner experience to offer you the opportunity to look for yourself, empirically, into your inner self. What are these things you call your thoughts, your feelings, your hunches, your perceptions?

Carl Jung defined the four functions of consciousness as perception, feelings, intellect and intuition — the latter referred to in day-to-day life as “hunches”. These are four kinds of events that can go on in consciousness. According to Jung, nothing else besides these four styles of experience can be experienced. Do you agree?

Modern psychology studies emotions, which are the objectified manifestations (heart rate, skin conductance, etc. — measurements taken by instruments) of what consciousness phenomenologically experiences as feelings.

Within consciousness, what we experience first is something inside that motivates us and moves us toward or away from something. Those are feelings. Instincts – hardwired genetic carryovers, part of the machine, inherited before birth – are partly responsible for some or all of our feelings. The rest arise from motivations we accumulated during our lives, stuff we learned or decided to want or not want as a result of our experiences since birth.

When I watch what goes on inside of me, it often starts with a feeling that is also somehow an image at the same time.

Then what happens inside is that another part of me takes that feeling/image and interprets it as a conscious thought — putting names, categorizations, and other specific recognizable details onto the original amorphous feeling/image.

I think that’s what a thought is. An interpreted feeling/image. I posit that Jung was not quite correct — thoughts and feelings are the same thing, at different stages of development.

Thoughts add details to feeling/images, turning them into specifications, bringing out additional information that had somehow been packed into the feeling/vision.

Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) classifies feelings as “kinesthetic”, making them bodily feelings albeit in some cases infinitely subtle. I’m not entirely convinced that all feeling/images can be felt in one’s body, but the term works intuitively.

Possibly feelings are the most substantial and primary actor, coming out of our most intimate connection with the vehicle we identify as the material sovereignty of our self, and arising to be transmuted into intuitions and/or thoughts and/or emotions and/or images/visions.

Perceptions coming in from the “outside” accompanied by an equal stream of feelings from “inside” – suggests that feelings are another sense, like seeing and hearing. In which case, we simply perceive, and the rest of the functions are what evolves from our perceptions. In other words, feelings are inner perceptions, and what we call sense perceptions are outer perceptions. Inner and outer perceptions are the raw stuff of experience, and as we turn them over in our minds, those perceptions turn into thoughts and/or intuitions.

So instead of Jung’s four-way classification of inner experience, I suggest that perceptions evolve into what Jung classified as thoughts (intellect) and/or hunches (intuition). Outer perceptions — the five physical senses — are what Jung called “perceptions” — and the inner perceptions are what Jung called “feelings”. Close inspection of these feelings, in my own empirical experience journeying within myself suggests to me that these feelings have both a body-type kinesthetic aspect and an imagistic aspect. The raw stuff of my inner life is comprised of feeling/image arisings that I then articulate internally as thoughts, with either words or not, or observe as hunches, without inner words.

Those feeling-image packets hit “the worder”, which often perfectly articulates the intent of the feeling-image packet. Just as often, “the worder” seems unable to get it right and comes out saying something other than what you intended — the right words don’t seem to come.

“The worder” physically sits above your left ear – Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area – decoding incoming words and encoding outgoing words, respectively. I observe that my own outgoing words are preceded by feeling-image packets (often invisible unless I am concentrating on seeing the details of inner head action), sometimes with more image, often with more feeling.

If it can be proven that both thoughts and feelings have a common root in the feeling-image packet (FIP), then Jung’s 4-way design would be reduced to 3-way. But what if it can be reduced further?

Intellect and intuition have always been seen as similar functions. Intellect reaches new conclusions step by effortful step. Intuition gets there in one leap, involuntarily, all by itself.

Sometimes when the intuition or hunch is particularly credible and important and came out of nowhere, we call it inspiration, suggesting help from some outside invisible source.

If these two sides of cognition may be thought of as a continuum, then the formula for consciousness would not be a series of 4 items in no particular order, it would be:

S→P→[FIPs→Cognition→Action]

Where “S” is stimuli, “P” is perceptions, and these impinge upon the consciousness (symbolized by the square brackets) in which what goes on are feeling-image packets that turn into cognitions that turn into actions we take as a result of the process. Many of these gratefully are non-actions.

We need maps to study consciousness. We also need meditation to concentrate on seeing what really goes on inside for oneself.

This was my somewhat unusual sharing of my inner experience. You might find it worthwhile to look inside of yourself to see what arises moment-to-moment — and see how it might compare (or not) with what I’ve described in this “field report”.

By looking inside, we can begin to cut through dogma and other people’s beliefs, and see for ourselves who we are in our inner worlds.

Best to all,

Bill

Next Time, Let’s Replace Black Box Debates — Four Out-of-the- Box Ideas

Volume 2, Issue 29

The presidential debates may give us some further insight into the individuals but they tell us nothing really about any plans the candidates and their parties might have. The possibility exists that there might exist only the most superficially developed plans. In this scientific age of computer models — intensive research potential including controlled experimentation, enhancement processes to creativity — our supreme governance techniques appear to be stuck several centuries behind. Would that our government be run the way our best companies and military think tanks are run, making use of the most in-depth plan testing, scenario generation, simulations, wargames, and psychological interventions to strip away mental and emotional blockages. Instead our highest power center still plays out like a student debate in a high school gym. Not only here but around the world.

Whether or not it was right, and regardless of what you may think of Al Gore, at least his An Inconvenient Truth presentation reached a level of comprehensiveness that is lacking in the current debates about solutions for the economy. Shouldn’t each side present its plan in writing to the public, with a full defense against the other side’s criticisms, citing evidence? In the small arena of media research companies, throughout my career I’ve always strived to present the case for my own methodologies using industry evidence and analytics of my own data. Why can’t candidates present the case for their own plans that way?

We are left with the feeling that each side’s plan for the future is a black box reflecting in the end only the original assumptions of each party, i.e. meritocracy (in its worst expressions degenerating into aristocracy) vs. democracy (in its worst expressions degenerating into communism). The only other factor being “Whom do you trust?” This is likely to be answered internally by one’s own bias along party lines, rendering the whole debate process a waste of time. The current candidates exude such reasonability that one is tempted to trust any of them, but how much of that reasonability is simply well-practiced and well-rehearsed good acting? Ultimately the decisions we make as a nation and as a world should be based on the well-defended plans we are choosing among, not merely on the personalities of the front men and front women. We need a plan.

There are still a couple of weeks left in which the candidates should really dig into the details of why they intend to do X, Y and Z. They should show what has worked before, what has not worked, how the contexts have changed since those evidentiary cases, and what their contingency plans are should results deviate from targets by specified dates. Whereas military plans cannot be exposed that way, economic plans can be. That’s Out-of-the-Box Idea #1. Not just debates, but debates after plan presentations. Yes, the plans are on the candidates’ websites, but push would be more effective than pull when the quality of our lives is at stake.

Our Plan For America presented last century focused on individualized education as the key to training Americans to be able to gain and keep jobs in which they could be fulfilled and happy, setting new records for innovation and productivity. Instead of handouts of fish we must train people to fish for themselves, as Charles Kennedy reminded me the other night. Systemic changes are automating jobs into extinction, and so we must all reinvent ourselves at personal and group levels, right up to nations and the planet as a whole. This is a long-range problem with a long-term solution — what do we do to relieve pain right now?

In the Creativity training Richard Zackon and I gave on October 3 at ARF we pointed out that wild ideas are worth throwing out there because they can lead to sounder ideas. So here are three more wild ideas that can be pummeled into realistic ones.

The private sector is the most efficient, so let’s focus on government tax changes and incentives that drive innovations in the private sector and speed up retraining of people out of work. People who have the most money (the top 0.1% or 0.01% for example*) could be offered a choice of higher taxes or the equivalent amount of money invested in the unemployed as entrepreneurs — kind of a pro-social Shark Tank. Before such a plan would start there would be intensive research into who the unemployed are, what talents and defeated aspirations they have had, either through Facebook or something like it. This web-based system would function as a dating service between out-of-work people and rich people. Rich people would help individuals rather than dole out faceless tax dollars. The business plans of the would-be entrepreneurs would be critiqued and improved by the benefactors. If not invested away the same money would simply be taxed away — again, only for the richest 0.1% or 0.01%.

Another process would be incentivizing internships on a massive scale, where the unemployed work for very little in a company where they can learn new skills and maybe get a foot in the door.

We need to consider making it mandatory in our school systems for students to learn a third language — writing computer code.

Let’s encourage the candidates to drop the rote going-through-the-ancient-motions and get on with detailed specific plans that respect our intelligence.

Best to all,

Bill

*As reported in the New Yorker:

  1. The top 0.1% received 7.8% of all U.S. income in 2009, according to the IRS;
  2.  Economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty find that:
    a. The top 1% received 93% of the gains of the 2009-2010 recovery;
    b. The top 0.01% received 37% of the gains of that recovery.

Fun Was Had at the ARF Creativity Playshop

Volume 2, Issue 28

Of course I had fun. I always have fun presenting and this was so experimental — imagine media researchers, at least one copywriter, and other marketing people meditating together as part of an industry event — I felt like a kid again. Co-presenter and Playshop co-creator Richard Zackon and I alternated in sharing research findings on the creative process and suggesting best practices as well as offering various experiential exercises. Professional coach Jane Harris supported the fun as well, at one point pulling a rabbit out of a hat and at another getting everybody to wear clown noses. The ARF was generous with its refreshments and support as well as participation by Don Gloeckler, Don Sexton, Horst Stipp, and interns Danielle Hemsley and Raphaela Hodgdon. The feedback sheet Richard passed around was responded to by 16 of the 18 participants, with high ratings for presenters, content, and fun, which got the highest rating.

Did we make a difference in terms of their creativity? Time will tell. There are free follow-up sessions and a post-questionnaire yet to come, which may give us some early indication of any increase in creativity, performance, and/or satisfaction. We’re also sending out, free, the book + DVD kit the Human Effectiveness Institute offers as a 60-day course in Creative Effectiveness.

We were happy to see that important companies sent their people to a creativity intensive, one of the largest media companies sending four people. A top car company sent someone whose nametag I hadn’t noticed — I was happily surprised to find this out the next day in a meeting with that company.

I’m also happily surprised to see that the ANA is now offering a creativity workshop. This is a terrific sign. As Richard pointed out early in the four-hour session on October 3, IBM in a 2010 global survey of CEOs, found that creativity was selected as the most crucial factor for future success.

Xyte, a self-administered online questionnaire that sheds intense clarifying light into the way one thinks — which of 16 types of thinker one is — was made available free, courtesy of Gerry Klodt and Linda McIsaac of Xyte. One participant who found it revealed her to herself in a way that was “spot on” asked for and received the two extra free passes we had been given to access Xyte, for members of her team.

The participants were given many methods to stimulate their own creativity and to look at old problems in new ways. Someone asked how to retain singlepointed focus while necessarily multitasking and was given the method of staying focused through complexity, rotating the concentration among the incoming data streams. This is described in greater detail in Chapter 7 of our book Freeing Creative Effectiveness. A few heads nodded knowingly (Don Sexton’s was one of them) at another point when I mentioned using a notepad to take down side ideas that arise while you are focused on one specific task, so the mind does not feel these ideas tugging one.

During the final exercise the participants generated many creative ideas of their own around social media, including a fascinating schematic by Don Gloeckler that could become the framework for studying the diffusion of memes through the population.

Don Sexton objected at one point when I was characterizing stress as being the enemy of the Zone (Flow State), the state of highest creativity that we were aiming at by route of the Observer State. He and I agreed that stress could produce the phenomenon of “little old ladies” suddenly able to carry large heavy men out of burning buildings. It was a moment to remind ourselves that the principles being passed along in the training were none of them black-and-white absolute rules but needed to be balanced against each other customized for every situation. At an earlier point I had cautioned that anything we said should not be applied so absolutely as to become the next block to creativity.

After the session it occurred to me that I should have said we would never have burned down the building just to get the “little old lady” into the Zone for a few minutes, although the experience might lead her to more constant Flow state capability — the cost of the building and perhaps other lives would have been grotesquely too high. So there has to always be a tradeoff between the good of the Flow state and the cost involved — courses like these being a better way to approach Flow maximization than artificially creating stress situations. (For the record, the OSS and many contemporary military and paramilitary organizations did/do in fact purposely create stress in order to gain expected benefits in the performance of individuals.)

Hopefully HR leaders at major companies will take us up on our offer to take this Playshop on the road. The Playshop could be used as part of a management offsite, extending the current Playshop into a fully customized wargame focused on the future of the specific company involved. Having created and led one such wargame recently with high-level U.S. military officers focused on long-range planning, and conducted scenario stimulation with top managements of many advertisers, media and agencies, this is the part that could afford participants and their companies the most benefit. The Playshop at ARF by its nature of having many companies in one room could not delve into confidential matters pertaining to one company. Skills could be sharpened but the focus of these skills on close-to-home opportunities and challenges could not happen in such an event. Companies that take us up on the offer to go in for more customized Playshops can begin creating their company’s future with the shackles taken off of thinking.

Best to all,

Bill

Digital Integration of Media, Advertising, Gaming, and Philanthropy

Volume 2, Issue 27

Sharing with you our contribution to the Wharton Advertising 2020 Project

Today a new company, Thinaire, is placing low-cost links to digital content in physical objects such as shelf-talkers and magazines. People can just tap their mobile phone to the object and the content appears on their screen and can be shared in the usual ways — plus by tapping a friend’s phone whereupon the content leaps phone to phone. This is only one small part of the continuing evolution of all (including in-store) media into digital media. All print media, to the extent that they continue to involve printed copies, will utilize links like Thinaire’s to become woven seamlessly into the one digital mediasphere that is forming. Radio is migrating into digital, and cellphone+stereo earpods will be the next stage both by radio receivers in phones and by all-digital stations springing up, led by Pandora.

The advertising industry is gradually becoming aware that sponsorship of good content (including fun/social games) and of good causes has far greater power to win hearts and minds than interruptive pitch/offer messages no matter how clever. In his book Grow: How Ideals Power Growth and Profit at The World’s Greatest Companies, Jim Stengel, former global marketing officer of Procter & Gamble, says “If you’re willing to align your business with a fundamental human ideal, you too can achieve extraordinary growth.” In his study of 50,000 brands, Jim found that those who grew the fastest 2000-2010 — on average three times faster than the overall group — had one thing in common. They were explicitly linked in people’s minds with fundamental human values such as joy, connection to other people, adventurousness, pride, and the desire to improve society (see the excellent issue of strategy + business published by Booz & Company, Autumn 2012, page 81). To yours truly, who has been saying similar things to advertisers and agencies since 1976, this is the most important insight of business and marketing in the last 100 years now that Jim has brilliantly put a sharp point on it. The brands that are winning are the idealists who bind themselves to enduring human values. Advertising would do well to “get” this learning and apply it in a sweeping redefinition of what advertising is. In this scenario we assume the industry will “get it”.

The Upside Future Scenario for Advertising

Today Cause Marketing is still only a billion-dollar slice of the advertising pie but in the future, with the precise media/creative ROI measurement now available, things that work will quickly balloon to the level justified by their economic efficacy. As Bob DeSena says, you can’t optimize it until you measure it. And once you measure something, it is highly likely that soon after that, the measurements will start to show improvements. CMOs and bright agencies will devise mixtures of Cause, Game, and Social aspects to make advertising and even promotion far more intriguing, fun, and self-satisfying for media audiences.

New forms of web-based testing, brain and psychographic research will develop that will help us understand how people tick so much better than today, equipping creatives with powerful insights to help shape effective messages. Sophistication and creativity will merge into advertising that is not only rational, emotive, perceptual and intuitive but also appeals to whole human beings instead of to one small layer of their most mundane purchasing interests. Share of ROI Uplift will become a way that media and agencies are compensated, with trusted third-party research companies led by the ARF, ANA and 4As ensuring that the ROI report cards are scientific and objective. The media business will become more fun for all with fewer doomsday scenarios and a never-ending game of day-to-day surprises enabled by technology and human ingenuity. Resistance to advertising, which had always been futile, will now also become nearly extinct due to the enjoyability of the new formats.  

What should we do NOW to achieve it

Probably the best organization to make this scenario come true is the Ad Council. This estimable organization is in touch with the Philanthropy “industry” (an oxymoron since they are all by definition nonprofits) and is always discoursing with them about advertising as a force for social good. Upping their game, they would bring in companies who have the ability to read sales effects of advertising, and would engage the cable industry to use cable zones for A/B testing of equal allocations of media dollars to BAU (Business As Usual) vs. new formulations of crossmedia Cause marketing gamified and made into Social media. Besides the Ad Council, there are heroes amongst us who are recruiting celebrities to help power creative innovation to serve social needs — people such as Bill Rouhana, Ed Martin, James Colmenares, and Rabbi Irwin Katsof, to name only a few of the veritable Army of Light that is self-forming around us in response to historical necessity.

The true investment required would be media costs — which are low in cable zones — and creative costs, which would be the major part in this case. The advertisers willing to lead this charge would be those who agree with Jim Stengel’s analysis of what makes companies successful today: caring about social good — which Jim has analyzed in relation to financial data to prove his case conclusively. Stengel’s article has not been widely quoted yet but is actually the shot heard round the world for the future of the advertising business. When Jim’s findings have been doubly verified by extensive A/B testing across many product categories, the seismic shift toward tying one’s messages to the larger concerns of humanity will be fully underway.

Best to all,

Bill

Do Something Different this Advertising Week

Volume 2, Issue 25

Can You Make a Quantum Leap in Your Own Creativity?

If you’re in Manhattan the first week of October, it’s likely you will be attending some of the great events that will be happening as part of Advertising Week. The one event that is totally different from all the others will be the first-ever ARF Creativity Playshop led by myself and Richard Zackon, the formidable facilitator of the Council for Research Excellence (CRE). From 8AM to noon on Wednesday, October 3, come join us to stimulate your mind in some new directions conducive to breakthrough thinking. This will be an intensive immersion with groundbreaking participatory experiments that have the power to change your ways of engaging challenges and opportunities at work and everywhere.

Before the event, participants will receive the Human Effectiveness Institute 60 Day Course consisting of a book, a DVD, and a guide; a Playbook designed by Richard Zackon and myself to capture realizations stimulated by the pre-event-through-post-event process; a questionnaire to set your own goals and to later measure the extent to which they were reached; and the Xyte self-profiling instrument, which is a sensitive new litmus paper test to discern your strengths in mental/emotive processing.

During the event, the many sides of creativity will be explored in a participatory manner. Creativity is a complex cluster of dimensions, like intelligence. We know now that intelligence is not a single variable but dozens of interacting skillsets — some cognitive, some emotional, some perceptual, and many intuitive. Creativity is a special case of intelligence involving thinking the unthinkable, transcending one’s own ingrained ideas and style. In order to effect real and positive change, we won’t just talk about these subjects, we will use exercises by which each participant can find their inner truths regarding these subjects, thus creating the environment in which you will be able to discover for yourself how you tick and the levers you can pull to improve upon your strengths and transmute “weaknesses” into strengths.

Not all of the conversation will be about creativity since underpinning creativity are deep layers of mental behavior that themselves constrain or potentiate creativity at the conscious level. So there will be bold theoretic investigations into P300 waves, Observer state, Flow state (the Zone) and other subjects you’ve seen dissected here before, presented in a more comprehensive and systematic manner than blogposts allow.

We will look at obstacles, obstructions to and distractions from creativity, and how to get around them.

The Playshop will be at ARF HQ on Park Avenue and will be part of the Masters Classes offered by ARF University. It’s not called a workshop because the whole point will be that Flow state does not happen if you are focused fearfully on some outcome, the Zone happens when you are enjoying what you are doing for its own sake. We will be there to have fun together, it will be a “play date” and we will all have permission to let it all hang out. Hope I can persuade many of you, my special friends, to be there and to add your own life’s unique realizations, insights and perspectives to the party.

Best to all,

Bill

The Role of Attention in the Zone

Volume 2, Issue 15

Our nonprofit organization,The Human Effectiveness Institute, may be unique among nonprofit foundations in providing people with heuristics specifically designed to increase individual experience of the Observer and Flow (Zone) states of consciousness. Books that contain ancient scriptural texts from India, and other psychotechnologies derived from these teachings or rediscovered experientially, also offer such advice, since the samadhi, satori and zazen states are neurological levels within Flow.

In recent posts we have looked at Flow from many different points of view, including the relation to Flow of values, motivations, attachments, matching of skills and challenges, doing something for its own sake not for outcomes, and striving for Flow in the work one does best. In this post we will consider how attention  is central to both Observer and Flow states.

ADD and ADHD are two modern symptomologies of Acceleritis, which undoubtedly also existed in the past but were never so prevalent as to warrant being named and studied. With the world culture veering wildly as information overload overwhelms our cortical abilities, our attention tends to be diffuse, unfocused, and constantly hopping from one distraction to another — conditions inimical to Flow.

A terrific book given to me recently by my great new friend and partner in Playshops, Richard Zackon, The Taboo of Subjectivity, by Alan Wallace — which recounts with such authenticity one feels as if Wallace is the reincarnation of William James — describes how James analyzes the most advanced “mystical” contemplative state he himself achieved as being one of alert vivid attention. Furthermore, the state was free of subjective constructs, conceptual thinking, and the singlepointed focus was on the nature of the experience of consciousness itself, thus utterly transcending the usual experience of mindand its incessant chatter. James thus demystified this state by explaining its differentness in purely scientific terms.

So long as one is not master of one’s own attention, none of the other suggestions we have provided or can provide will bear fruit in the way of Flow state. This is why so many of the Eastern traditions start with, and continuously emphasize, concentration training. Such training is no longer optional in the racing world of information overflow in which we now live, it is something we all need almost as much as we need love.

We cannot cover the subject of concentration training fully in this one post. A few key secrets of achieving concentration in current real world conditions will have to suffice for a start:

  • Focus 100% on one thing at a time.
     
  • Be present in the moment.
     
  • Do not rush — go no faster than you can with a rational and appropriate degree of perfectionism for the challenge you are facing.

In order to focus on one thing at a time you need:

  • To ruthlessly block off distractions.
     
  • As distracting but important ideas arise, jot them down on a side notepad and put them totally out of your mind until later. At the end of each day, integrate the list of waiting thoughts in priority order in a single list (or a personal list and a core business list). This will enable you to turn away from distracting thoughts without your mind tugging at your sleeve, fearing that important time limits are being exceeded on one or more of these items. Indeed, get done the side-notes in their own needed timeframes.

More on attention in future posts. This one dimension is one of the most important overlooked matters in world culture circa 2012.

Best to all,

Bill

PS – Gian Fulgoni was kind to tweet our last post – Click here.